Supposedly a small subset of long-term TiVo customers have been offered quite the amazing deal:

  • Base Roamio w/lifetime service $200 for the unit and $200 for the lifetime service
  • Plus – $400 for the unit and $100 for lifetime service
  • Pro – $600 for the unit and $100 for lifetime service

The catch is that it’s not quite clear who is eligible, with some believing ten years of TiVo service may meet the threshold. I’m fairly certain I’ve got more than ten consecutive years in the can, but I’ve cycled through a number of devices… including a brief stint with Roamio, which might explain why I didn’t receive any outreach. But, if you’re ready for an upgrade, it’s at least worth making a call into TiVo (877-494-4567) to determine if you qualify. Especially since TiVo’s “holiday deals” haven’t (yet?) been very compelling – not even coming close to “summer sale” pricing.

(Thanks Bob, Dean!)

roamio-6tb

While the TiVo Roamio line may officially max out at 3TB of recording capacity, licensed reseller WeaKnees has offered 4TB drives nearly since launch. And, should that 637 hours of HD content not be enough, WeaKnees has just unveiled 6TB drives – a TiVo upgrade good for a whopping 960 hours of high def content. The WeaKnees 6TB DIY kits clock in at $450 while preconfigured 6TB Roamios start at $700… which is a far more practical solution for most than the ridiculous $5000 TiVo Mega.

mobitv-connect

Next up in the streaming stick space is the MobiTV Connect… that just passed thru the FCC. The company originally known for streaming amazingly low resolution television content to Sprint phones clearly continues to pivot. And, back in September, MobiTV told The Donohue Report their HDMI hardware would launch via two US wireless carriers in early 2015. More akin to Chromecast than Amazon Fire TV Stick, the microUSB-powered dongle is designed to be controlled via smartphone. Indeed, the FCC-published manual includes Android screenshots used for wireless pairing – with both Bluetooth LE and WiFi making appearances. Of course, much more interesting than the stick hardware itself, are the over-the-top video services that may be made available … and at what cost.

The Tablo OTA DVR Giveaway

Dave Zatz —  November 24, 2014

tablo

Here at ZNF, we’re big fans of Tablo and find it to be the best post-Aereo solution for technologically savvy cord cutters (and their families). You can check out our complete review here but, in a nutshell, Tablo is both a headless over-the-air TiVo and Slingbox in one — beaming live and recorded television to a variety of endpoints (Roku, iPhone, etc) in the home … and beyond. So we jumped at the opportunity to partner with Tablo to give away a two-tuner unit. Continue Reading…

slingplayer-chrome

As Google modernizes their Chrome web browser, Sling has alerted customers that they’re unprepared to continue streaming support at this time.

As part of their 64-bit upgrade process, Google is discontinuing the support of 32-bit browser extensions for Mac OS X and Windows computers. Since the current version of Watch on Slingbox.com for Mac and PC uses a 32-bit browser extension, it is therefore no longer supported by the latest version of the Chrome browser. You won’t be able to stream from your Slingbox using the latest version of the Chrome browser. We are in the process of addressing this issue and are expecting a temporary interruption of the free, web-based Slingplayer service for Chrome browsers version 39 and above.

While Sling has once again released a desktop client (yes!), it’s incomplete and support hasn’t been extended to most models (not to mention the software is next to impossible to find) — so that’s not an option for most impacted by this news. Indeed, in speaking with Sling last June, I got the sense that their player intentions were somewhat in flux… so it’ll be interesting to see where we ultimately land. For the interim, I guess us Slingbox owners have one more reason to keep Yahoo’s Firefox around.

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Background

Three years ago, Nest announced their first smart thermostat clocking in at $250. While others balked at the price, I saw the value of something that could potentially reduce our family energy expenditure. And save money we did! Despite the upfront cost of the Nest, after having used the device that first twelve months, I estimated we dropped our gas and electric bill by $500 for the year. The second year, the savings continued. I offloaded my 1st generation Nest and upgraded to the 2nd generation Nest along with adding a few of the Nest Protect smoke alarms to the house.

But despite seemingly being all-in on the Nest platform, there recently have been a few changes to both their products and the thermostat market in general that have me rethinking our current setup – including potentially switching out to a new brand. First, Google acquired Nest. As much as I appreciate Google’s ability to find pretty much anything on the Internet, I have reservations in providing them too much data, especially when it comes to our home. Call me paranoid all you want, but that’s simply how I feel.

Second, the Protect product seemed so promising at first release. Our Nest is situated in the dining room which is rarely accessed when we are in the house, therefore the Nest can not accurately tell when we are home or not.  With the wired Protects, Nest would be able to monitor our house for motion and help adjust the auto features which would alleviate the Nest from not being able to “see” us when we were home.  I found that this really didn’t work so well when we had our four-legged furry friends running around the house during the day. I was hoping that the Protects would help build a better picture of our occupancy of our home, but it really didn’t seem to add much smarts to the Nest, just false alarms for movement.

Enter Ecobee3

To tell you the truth, I really didn’t pay that much attention to the Ecobee3 launch back in September. For the most part, I was happy with my Nest and really didn’t see much benefit to the Ecobee3. I was wrong. After noticing a few of the tech sites I follow start to post more about the Ecobee3, the more I became interested. This was especially the case when I payed attention to the remote sensors that can be added to the Ecobee3. Could this solve the problem that my current Nest platform has with not being able to determine not only occupancy of the house, but also the correct temperature for the different rooms? Continue Reading…

After 12 hours with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, some thoughts…

The remote feels exceedingly cheap compared to the premium clicker that ships with the full-fledged Fire TV box and I had some difficulty removing the battery cover. Having said that, a flimsy remote is infinitely more valuable than no remote… versus Google Chromecast, which requires a smartphone for interaction.

In the app department, the Fire TV UI remains somewhat unwieldy compared to Roku given its expected emphasis of Amazon services – but it’s certainly manageable, More importantly, the third party content selection is still lacking. For example, our kitchen TV is perfectly suited for CNN or Sky News (as seen on Apple TV) background noise, yet neither are available. Also missing, but expected soon, is HBO GO. I had no problems streaming Netflix and WatchESPN – both looked great. Plex also seems to be working wellContinue Reading…